Best of 2014: Fiction

Here are my top 15 fiction reads covering myths, fairy tales, contemporary, short stories, sci-fi & fantasy, and romance.

 

Mythology, Fairy Tales & Folktales

 

The Golden Ass: Or Metamorphoses by Lucius Apuleius
Those Ancient Romans knew how to tell a story! Bestiality, homosexual priest gangbangs, female paedophiles, incest, and so much more. {My Review}

 

Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela (audio)
Fantastic narration by many famous actors from around the world. My favorites were Whoopi Goldberg and Hugh Jackman, though Alan Rickman, Alfre Woodard, Samuel L. Jackson, C.C.H. Pounder, Blair Underwood and Don Cheadle were also great. Some stories proved some fairy tales and fables are universal while others were truly unique and colourful. {My Review}

 

The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde
Worthwhile fairy tales and parables based on sins and virtues which don’t revolve around princesses. {My Review}

 

 

Blurring Reality with Fiction

 

The Bad Doctor: The Troubled Life and Times of Dr Iwan James by Ian Williams (graphic novel)
A non-linear timeline of the life and work of a GP who has been suffering in silence with OCD all his life, occasionally battling suicidal thoughts. It perfectly depicts the struggles of OCD, this coming from someone who lives with a sufferer. It’s poignant and wonderfully illustrated, and details the idiosyncrasies of colleagues and patients alike.

 

Sold by Patricia McCormick (audio)
Justine Eyre’s brilliant narration of a lyrically beautiful story of a rural Nepalese girl sold into prostitution by her gambler stepfather and sent to an Indian city brothel, which echoes the real-life sex-trafficking trade via the Nepal-India border. {My Review}

 

Creoleana by J.W. Orderson
Two stories which mixes real historical events with fictional storytelling, written by a white man in Barbados in the early 1800s. It provides unique incite into race relations of that time period and includes a free, property owning black woman and a slave valet who (understandably) doesn’t want to be freed. Strangely it’s not entirely pro-slavery, nor is it anti-slavery.

 

 

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Perfectly shows what a world without books like and explains exactly why I love them so. {My Review}

 

Written in Red (The Others, #1) by Anne Bishop
Supernatural beings usually have little power in the human world, but Bishop flips it. Her supernaturals run the world and humans merely rent the land they live on and occasionally forget who’s in charge. The story takes place in a supernatural enclave within a human city, the first of its kind to test whether supes and humans can live alongside each other. As a Black Jewels Trilogy fan I was pleased to enjoy another of Bishop’s offerings.

 

Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore, #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin
My first Le Guin novel but not my last. Gifts is a tale of a region in which its inhabitants possess a supernatural gift, each bloodline carrying a unique ability which helps them to protect and provide for their families. Our young main protagonist’s family carries the fearsome gift of Unmaking – to destroy.

 

 

SFF Short Stories

 

Brimstone and Marmalade: A Tor.Com Original by Aaron Corwin
A little girl gets a tiny demon for her birthday instead of a pony and is terribly upset. But the demon, how I loved him, proves to be a better pet. Until tragedy strikes. It’s reminiscent of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.’

 

Alabama Blues by Margaret Sisu
Another author from Barbados, this time focusing on revealing the story of a conservative black preacher scapegoating the local black outcast in the 1950s and how it affects the present day via a restless ghost. {My Review}

 

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
I think this highly influential story has reached urban legend status, warning people to be careful what you wish for and be grateful for what you’ve got before it’s gone. {My Review}

 

 

Romance


Bite Me (Pride, #9) by Shelly Laurenston
I pretty much adore everything Laurenston writes. She’s my go-to author when I’m feeling low because she never fails to make me laugh until my chest aches. This one stands out as different to the rest. Both hero and heroine lived on the edge of their shifter community, the hero hates sports – something the others don’t seem to understand as all shifters love sport, and their romance was understated, but all of this fitted the characters perfectly. Also, I never want to meet a honey badger in real life. Bloody scary bastards!

 

B785 (Cyborgs: More Than Machines, #3) by Eve Langlais
Unemotional cyborg Sheldon called Einstein meets his adventurous Sleeping Beauty. I loved how he changed and eventually embraced a romantic side he never knew he had. {My Review}

 

Scandal at Dawn (Regency Rhapsody, #1) by Elizabeth Cole
A blind regency heroine meets her charming rake of a match who doesn’t see her as less of a woman for her lack of sight. You don’t see many disabled heroines in historical fiction, scared and traumatized heroes, but never heroines.

Source: http://literaryames.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/best-of-2014-fiction